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Anna begins fast, govt says Lokpal Bill in winter session

Minister of state for personnel V Narayanasamy, who piloted the bill in the Rajya Sabha, blamed Opposition for not allowing to run the house where the bill could be taken up. ‘As far as the Lokpal Bill is concerned I have given notice to Chairman Rajya Sabha for taking up the Lokpal Bill. The government is taking all sincere steps to pass the Lokpal Bill,’ he told reporters outside parliament house.

Narayanasamy said the government has accepted some of the recommendations given by select committee of Rajya Sabha. The controversial bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha, faced opposition hurdle in the Rajya Sabha on various provisions, including the one making it mandatory for states to set up Lokayuktas. In view of the sharp divide, the bill was referred to the select committee. ‘We have accepted some of the recommendations given by them (the select committee). The government is ready to debate and discuss and then to pass the Lokpal Bill,’ said the minister.

Narayanasamy accused the opposition of not allowing the house to run. ‘Unfortunately, the opposition parties are stalling the proceedings of the House and as far as the government is concerned we wanted the Lokpal Bill to be passed and we are giving a top priority to that,’ he added.

His statement came hours after anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare launched an indefinite hunger strike at his village Ralegan Siddhi to press for the passage of the bill. Asked about Hazare’s agitation, he said as far as government is concerned, the bill has to be passed in Parliament.

Before commencing his fast Anna said, ‘I offered prayers at the local temple before beginning the fast and asked God to give the government subuddhi (good sense) to pass the bill. Jan Lokpal Bill will be big step towards nation building.’
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